With the opening of the fall session of the Saskatchewan legislature, the Saskatchewan government made a loud, clear statement on where they stand on Saskatchewan’s intimate partner violence crisis. They invited Joanne Wilson’s murderer to the throne speech.
Saskatchewan’s rates of intimate partner violence are higher than anywhere else in the country. Thousands of people, primarily women, experience this type of violence every day. Many of them are dying. The decision to invite Colin Thatcher for the speech from the throne is telling.
It tells us that the Saskatchewan Party’s tough on crime mandate only applies if you’re worried about having your garage broken into or your business vandalized. Suffering physical, emotional or sexual violence at the hands of a partner? Sorry. Facing homelessness and poverty if you try to leave the relationship? No dice. Bringing a convicted killer to an event like the throne speech is a clear middle finger to anyone that’s every suffered at the hands of someone they loved.
It's also the ultimate in hypocrisy. The Sask. Party has long relied on a reputation of bucking the system and speaking up for the west on a national level. The inclusion of this murderer because he happens to be friends with an MLA reeks of the cronyism and politics as usual they so often accuse their federal peers of. It’s hard to trust that your representatives truly have the interests of the populace at heart when a call like this one is made.
Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. In this case, Premier Scott Moe and his colleagues are telling Saskatchewan that they have no intention of standing up for victims of violence, and that they are not terribly choosy about who they’ll rub shoulders with. It might be time to start listening.